Hakhel Email Community Awareness Bulletin
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The second brocha of Shemone Esrei is known as the brocha of
"Gevuros", for in this brocha we demonstrate HaKadosh Boruch Hu’s
The Ritva (Taanis 2A) notes that the concept of T’chiyas
HaMeisim--revival of those not alive--is mentioned four (4) times in this
brocha. While T’chiyas HaMeisim is certainly unparalleled gevura--why
need it be mentioned four different times within one short brocha? As
we know, the Anshei K’nesses HaGadola compiled each brocha B’Ruach
HaKadosh, and each word is very literally counted and deeply
meaningful. See the remarkable words of the Aruch HaShulchan (Orach
Because of the strength of this question, the Ritva teaches
that in fact there is no reiteration here at all. Rather, there are
four separate and distinct forms of T’chiyas HaMeisim mentioned in this
FIRST: "Mechaye Meisim Ata Rav L’Hoshia"
is immediately followed (in the winter months) by Morid HaGeshem, because
this phase refers to Hashem’s bringing us to life with proper rain,
which bring us our food and sustenance.
SECOND: "Mechaye Meisim B’Rachamim Rabim"
(which is followed by Somech Noflim) refers to people who are seriously or
even deathly ill whom HaKadosh Boruch Hu brings back to life through
miraculous healing power.
THIRD: "Melech Meimis U’Mechaye"
refers to the departed whom the Neviim (such as Eliyahu HaNavi and Elisha
HaNavi) helped bring back to life, and additionally to those whom Hashem
brings to life "B’Olom HaNeshomos" (obviously this is a
FOURTH: "V’Neeman Ata L’Hachayos Meisim"
refers to the ultimate T’chiyas HaMeisim, which we all anxiously await.
We see here how Hashem’s greatest gevuros have always been
with us, are currently with us and will in the future be with us, as well.
HaRav Schwab, Z’tl teaches (Rav Schwab on Prayer,
Artscroll, p.424) that Techiyas Hameisim is the ultimate yeshua--and
accordingly at the end of the bracha, we recite that Hashem is Matzmiach
Yeshua. He writes that HaRav Shimshon Refoel Hirsch, Z’tl explains
that the root of yeshua is yesh---which means ‘something’
or ‘existence’--and is meant to convey that HaKadosh Baruch Hu grants
everlasting existence to those who merit it--based on their Emunah and
conviction during their lifetime that Yesh Techiyas Hameisim Min HaTorah.
The Sefer Ya’aros Devash adds that one should await this BeTachlis
HaSimcha--for at this time man will be brought to his
Shleimus--fully and yes, finally realizing his potential! Have the Kavannah--it
really makes the difference!
The Kuntres Avodas HaTefillah by Rabbi Meyer Birnbaum,
Shlita helps us understand that when we recite that Hashem is a Someich
Noflim we mean that not only does He support those who have
physically fallen, but also those whose spirit has fallen or who are down
financially. Rofeh Cholim then refers to Hashem's healing of
those who are sick with all kinds of ailments--including those to which
doctors nay have thrown their hands up. Matir Asurim teaches
that Hashem helps those who may be bound in all kinds of ways--limbs which
are now able to move and then remarkably sit up after having been in a lying
position for hours, a child out of its mother's womb, a person out of jail,
a person assisted to freedom from improper passions, a single person
released from his status--by getting married! The bracha of Gevuros then is
so wonderfully encompassing--we should not let it get by us so easily as
we move from the first Bracha of Shemone Esrei to the upcoming great Brachos
of personal requests!
We bring especial attention to the second bracha of
Gevuros in Shemone Esrei-during which we should take relief, pleasure and
pride--and gain serenity--with the knowledge that awareness that Hashem
is in complete control of the World--and every part of its existence.
SECOND SET --------------------------
17B) teach that our recitation of the Second Bracha of Shemone Esrei (known
as Gevuros-- Hashem’s Omnipotence) is based on the Pasuk (Tehillim
LaHashem Kavod VeOz--render to Hashem honor
and might.” HaRav
Chaim Friedlander, Z’tl, explains that this means that by referring to
Hashem’s Omnipotence, we are honoring Him.
He adds, however, that we must understand what Omnipotence really
means. Hashem’s Power cannot
be explained in terms of a mortal’s power or prowess, as when two people,
groups or even countries are engaged in battle and one bests the other.
Rather, because Hashem is the Source of all strength, power and
influence in the world, there is simply no one that can stand up to Him that
he must defeat. After all, is a
man who steps on a fly considered a Gibor?
Indeed, as we noted in the definition of HaGibor in the First bracha
of Shemone Esrei, Hashem’s restraint against the nations who seek to
destroy K’lal Yisroel, is a demonstration of Hashem’s
Omnipotence--allowing His Middas
HaChesed to supersede His Middas
HaDin--thereby giving K’lal Yisroel more zechusim in Bechira, and
giving the other nations more attempts to succeed in life.
Moreover, we must remember that when Hashem displays His outward
Gevurah, He does so in both ‘natural’ and ‘miraculous’ ways.
We begin the Bracha with the words Atta
Gibor LeOlam--Hashem’s Might is not only infinite, but eternal.
Hashem does not tire, and Hashem does not age.
LeOlam also indicates that
Hashem’s incomparable Power manifests itself in all situations, in all
circumstances and in all events. If
we can properly appreciate these three opening words of this bracha--Atta
Gibor LeOlam, then we can infuse the Brachos of Request that we are soon to make with greater sincerity and Kavannah, for
we know with clarity and certainty that we make the requests in front of the
Only One who can fulfill them!
One can reflect upon these three opening words every time he takes a
tablet or pill, puts on a medical patch, or undergoes some other kind of
therapy or treatment. It is not
the oval shaped capsule that actually cures the infection, or the gray
tablet that removes the arthritic pain; it is not even the exercise bike
that strengthens one’s knees or the dietary regimen that saves one from
illness--it is, rather, Hashem Who creates the symptoms and the cures, the
illnesses and the healings, Who will determine just exactly when the pain
will start and when it will stop, what the side effects and after-effects of
any treatment may be, and the what and why for a person staying healthy and
well. This observation relates
only to the Rofeh Cholim words of
the Pasuk. Similar
considerations must, of course, be made for the remainder of the bracha--Mechalkel
Chaim B’Chesed, Someich Noflim….
Yes, most assuredly, we believe and should think about throughout the day
(and at least when reciting Shemone Esrei!) that Atta
The Sefer BeRumo
Shel Olam on Tefillah brings the teaching of the Sefer Avudraham
that Techiyas HaMeisim is
mentioned three separate times in the bracha of Gevuros--each with its own
independent meaning (see also Ritva to Ta’anis 2A for a slightly different
approach), as follows:
Meisim Atta--this refers to our awakening in the morning after hours
of sleep, which is one-sixrieth of death. It is for this reason that before
we go to sleep, we actually recite the Pasuk: “Beyadecha Afkid Ruchi
Padisa Osi Hashem Kel Emes--in Your hands I put my spirit, Hashem save me...”.
2. Mechayeh Meisim B’Rachamim Rabim--this
refers to the rainfall and Parnassah that Hashem supplies us with in the
here and now--for Chazal (Ta’anis 7A) teach that Gadol
Yom HaGeshamim Yoser Meitichiyas HaMeisim.
As the Tur writes: Just
as Techiyas HaMeisim brings life to the world, so does rain!
Atta LeHachayos Meisim Boruch Atta Hashem Mechayeh Meisim--this
refers to the Techiyas HaMeisim of the future to which we will hopefully be
zoche. Hakhel Note:
We may suggest that the phrases ‘Techiyas
HaMeisim’ and ‘Mechayeh Meisim’
are repeated in this vein, are not only so that the end of the bracha should
be similar to its concluding phrase (which is a Halachic principle), but
also to allude to the fact that there will be two stages of Techiyas
HaMeisim--first the Tzaddikim will arise, and later all those others who are
The Sefer Reishis
Chochma (Chapter 7) adds that the Gevurah referred to in this bracha is Gevurah
B’Chesed--Someich Noflim, Rofeh
Cholim, Matir Assurim, and, of course, the three kinds of Techiyas
HaMeisim referred to above! Accordingly,
when reciting this bracha, we should appreciate Hashem’s ongoing love for
us--as He demonstrates His caring Omnipotence in literally limitless ways!
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